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Guinness Goes Big with First-Ever St. Patrick’s Day Celebration at Chicago Open Gate Brewery

Guinness OGB Chicago Exterior
Taylor Laabs

“Bartender – Guinness please?” It’s an actionable phrase that Guinness brewery ambassador Ryan Wagner says will be uttered more than 13 million times on St. Patrick’s Day weekend this year around the globe. And while the spectacle and celebration concentrated at Guinness’ St. James Gate brewery in Dublin, Ireland is the stuff of legends, local Chicago beer drinkers should get ready for a similar celebration fit for a city that treats St. Patrick’s Day with particular fervor.

Opened in September of 2023, the Guinness Open Gate Brewery in Chicago’s West Loop has started to find it’s footing, right as Chicagoans across the city pop their heads up from – an albeit mild – winter to kickoff the city’s unofficial start to Spring. Instead of one singular day, Guinness Chicago will host a week of events happening now through Sunday, March 17. The celebration is organized into two different events –St. Patrick’s VIP, a ticketed event where folks can get an exclusive spot in the brewery via table reservations happening all week, and a non-ticketed block-party on the weekend (March 16 and 17) located just outside the brewery on the intersection of Peoria and Hubbard street.

The events will feature live music, exclusive merch, bar bites, a vast array of Guinness beer and their viral Stoutie selfie machine. The goal is to make the week of activities as weather-proof and crowd-proof as possible, to ensure that everyone looking to attend gets a similar experience. “Immersing people in our space and being able to immerse everyone in what we’ve created [at Guinness Open Gate] is huge,” said Wagner.

According to Wagner, ticket sales for the St. Patrick’s VIP event have been brisk, with some reservations for the prime hours/spots already sold out. Thankfully, patrons both inside and out will have full access to Guinness Chicago’s unique tap list. Of course, Guinness Draught Stout will be a hot commodity, but Wagner also noted that Chicagoans have taken a particular liking to two made-in-Chicago beers – Corn Maize Cream Ale and Kinzie Street Pale Ale.

Additionally, folks coming to the brewery the week of St. Patrick’s Day will have the opportunity to try two new beers: Irish Breakfast Tea Amber Ale and Clover Honey Ale. A special, new Irish-Coffee inspired stout, aptly named Padraig’s Stout, will be poured exclusively during the VIP event. The new beers are the creation of expert head brewer Peter Wiens.

And while you shouldn’t expect green beer at the Guinness celebration, you will see the iconic colors and stars of the Chicago flag emblazoned throughout the brewery, on merchandise and in their branding. It’s a unique homage and friendly handshake to a city that Wagner notes will already be rocking many a Guinness-branded shirt, sweater or winter hat (depending on the weather) this weekend, whether they’re at the brewery or in one of Chicago’s 77 neighborhoods celebrating. As Wagner puts it – there’s three sides to the shamrock – Guinness, green, and St. Patrick’s Day. Luckily, Chicagoans will get the opportunity to experience all three in the same place from the same brewery this week.

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